Italy

Why Italy Could Be A Good Choice For Immigration

Italy is a Mediterranean county as it occupies a peninsula which is just deep into the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the southern Europe. On east it is bordered with the Adriatic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west and the Ionian Sea to the South. The total land area occupied by Italy is 294,140 km2 (113,568 sq. miles). In the north it shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Italy has a population of more than 60.28 million. Around 10.4% of the total Italian population are immigrants from various countries. The main famous cities of Italy are Rome, Venice, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Florence, Turin, Pompeii, Pisa etc. The country is full of cultural historic monuments, with each city with its unique identity and beauty. The capital city Rome attracts thousands of visitors each year to see the remains of the once world power “the Roman Empire”, with its magnificent architecture mainly, The Colosseum, Vatican City, The Pantheon, The Roman Forum and the Trevi Fountain. Pisa is often the attraction of tourist to see the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”, however it has some beautiful historic cathedral, Palaces and Bridges worth seeing.  

Well, apart from the Historical and alluring reasons to visit Italy, It has been a first choice of many expats to visit Italy and make Italy their home, a place to work and live. There are mainly 5 reasons why immigration to Italy is a good choice: 

  1. Ease of Entry
  2. Increasing Prosperity
  3. Segmentation of the Italian market, opening up specific opportunities for immigrant employment
  4. Dominance of push factors from the countries of origin
  5. Demographic collapse in Italy

Traveling information:

Italy has lifted all Covid-19 related entry restrictions w.e.f. from 1st June, 2022. No Green pass for any equivalent certificate is required to be produced at the entry locations in Italy any more.  However, within Italy wearing of Mask (FFP2 type) is compulsory at the following places:

  1. On the aircraft which is used for commercial passenger transport
  2. On the ships and ferries used for inter-regional transport
  3. Inter-city, inter-regional and high-speed passenger trains
  4. Buses and coaches used for passenger transport. Buses used in rental services with drivers.
  5. Vehicles in public transports
  6. School buses and vehicles
  7. All Public places like theatres, concert halls, cinemas and live shows, sports and competitions in indoor locations.
  8. Workers, Social and health care workers, visitors to hospitals, social and other public places must wear Masks at all times. 

Children below 6 years of age, people with communication disabilities that are not able to wear and people who assist them are exempt from wearing a mask. While engaging in sports wearing mask is no mandatory.  

Flights are the easiest and convenient way to reach Italy. During the fall and spring, the flights would be generally cheaper, and these are off-season. Travelling during week days rather than week-ends would save a lot of money on flight costs. Train between cities in Italy are inexpensive and very convenient. Flights to major cities in Italy will be less than the flying to the actual destination city. For example, flying into Milan and then taking train to Venice will be cheaper than flying into Venice. 

Trains in Italy are a very affordable, convenient, and faster mode of travel at the same time can see much of Italy. You can book tickets on-line or at the train station. Consider Price, duration, number of connections and comfort before booking a train as there are many options and might be a bit confusing. Train tickets for children are discounted. Buying train tickets per trip is cheaper than buying a Europe rail pass. Moreover the Rail pass is only for the trains run by the Italian State Railway and does not include travel in private trains, Thello (the overnight train), Italo (the high-speed train) and other regional trains.

For more precise information on Italy Trains Travels, please visit: https://www.seat61.com/train-travel-in-italy.htm

Travel by Sea is very a convenient way to arrive in Italy as its situated at Europe’s southern base in the Mediterranean. You will be able to travel to Italy from Spain, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Malta, Croatia and Albania. There are some 14 major ports in Italy.  You need to select a ferry which arrives in the port on the side of your destination. Like, if you are visiting northeast/east side of Italy, you can choose the Ports in Venice, Ancona, Bari or Brindisi.

Get details on Ferries in Italy, on the website: https://www.go-ferry.com/ferry-from-to-italy

How to immigrate:   

Italy is one of the easiest European countries to immigrate to. Individuals from EU and Non-EU countries can immigrate here, however their visa must be according to the National Immigration Law.

Citizens from the EU nations who would like to immigrate to Italy only need a present their Identification document or Passport in their city Police station within 8 days from their departure to Italy. They will be issued a residence permit and they are good to go. After a minimum stay of 3 months, they can apply for a permanent residence permit. 

Types of Visa for citizens from Non-EU nations: 

  1. Temporary residence Visa
  2. Employment Permit
  3. Entrepreneurial Permit
  4. Student Visa
  5. Asylum & Stateless person Visa
  6. Family Reunification Visa
  7. Golden Visa

The Employment permit is issued to those who want to live and work along with the temporary residence permit. The Temporary residence visa allows residence up to 3 years without the need of renewing the visa. A foreigner can obtain permanent residence after living 5 years in Italy, which can be obtained through a residence by investment scheme. 

Documents required for Temporary Residence Visa: 

  1. Visa Application Form
  2. Passport with at least 3 months validity (from the time of the application)
  3. Two passport size photographs (not older than 3 months)
  4. Supporting documents giving the reasons to immigrate to Italy

(like the employment contract in case of work visa, student’s enrollment papers for student Visa, Business License for Entrepreneurial visa, Pension statement for retired people, Proof of Investment in case of Golden Visa)

People: 

People of Italy are known as Italians. Their religion is Roman Catholic. They share a common culture, history, ancestry and language. Italians are very proud of their history and traditions and they generally like to talk about it with others. Family is very important in Italian culture and have strong family’s bond. They become very emotional especially if someone does not agree with them, however quickly they come to terms and become friends. They are helpful, courteous and friendly to people who know them. The people here are good humoured, gentle, they don’t get drunk and become vulgar.  If you are new to Italy, you may find men and women stand very close to each other while talking or may touch even if they are talking with the person for the first time.  But this is certainly not an indication of sexual advance, its just the sign of warmth which the Italian culture is known for. You may also see men kissing men on cheeks or walking arm in arm, which is all normal and not an indication of sexuality. 

Italians give too much importance to clothing and good appearance. Since the 11th century, Italy has been renowned for its high-quality craftsmanship, sharp tailoring and luxury design.  Italy is known for big fashion brands like Armani, Valentino, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Marni, Versace, Prada, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and many more. Men and Women wear classic styles, good bright colors. Their style displays confidence and positive body image.

To know more about the People, culture and other things about Italy, please visit: https://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Italy.html

Job offers: 

It is estimated that about five million expats live and work in Italy. Italy has lots to offer in job opportunities for expats. Every year some 30,000 non-EU workers get employment visa. There is a quota system because the Visas are limited in each category. Apart from skilled salaried jobs, there are visas available for:
Seasonal Work – Agriculture or Tourism
Long-term seasonal Work – Sports activities, Artistic work, Scientific research and many more. The long-term seasonal visa is for 2 years.

Tourism opens a large door for jobs for English speaking citizens who can work as Language instructors, Interpreters and Hospitality employees. Other openings are in the field of Marketing, Engineering, IT Management, Skilled Factory Workers, Traditional Artisanal Work like Woodworking and Weaving.  Rome is Italy’s hospitality sector, while Milan is Finance, business and manufacturing and Tuscany has jobs in Agricultural and Traditional Artisan jobs.  

If you are from an EU nations than you are free to travel and work here with some basic paperwork. For Non-EU citizens it is advisable to secure a job before coming to Italy. The employers in Italy, will take care of the visa application process, therefore it’s good to search for a job at your home country. Visa applications may cost you between 100 to 200 Euros. 

To find out the average salary of various jobs and places in Italy, visit: https://housinganywhere.com/Italy/average-salary-italy

Unemployment rate: 

The unemployment rate is Italy was 8.42 in April 2022. It is increased in comparison to 2021, which was 9.2. The younger labor force between ages 15 and 24 years is the most affected by the Labor market crises in Italy, though the entire country is impacted. Youth Population in the southern regions of Sicily, Calabria and the Campania are unemployed in greater numbers. Experts blame the Education System in Italy for this problem as the education is not unable to equip the young to start work after they finish education. The education system emphasis more on theory than practical knowledge, therefore the young graduates do not have the skills to work. 

Italy ranks 4th in unemployment population among the EU countries. To get the updated and detailed figures on the unemployment rate In Italy, kindly refer https://tradingeconomics.com/italy/unemployment-rate

Economy    

Italy’s economy can be described as a diversified industrial economy. The north Italy is developed and dominated by private companies, whereas the south is agricultural, less developed, highly subsidized. Here rate of unemployment is also high. Italy is one of the world’s largest economy and holds 12th position as of now. Among the 45 European countries, Italy takes the 33rd position which is below the regional average but above the world average. The economy had a great impact in 2020, with 133,931 deaths in Italy due to covid-19. During this time the economy decreased by 8.9%. 

Italy’s strongest commercials links are with Germany and France. Others are Spain, China Switzerland, UK, Netherlands, China, Belgium and US. The major source of Italy’s income is the production of machinery, chemicals, Automobiles and Textiles. Fashion design and the tourism industry remain the large and important source of income. Wine is one the leading product in Italy in terms of volume and export. In 2021 the Italian wine exports reached a record value of 7.11 billion, which was 12.4% more than 2020.  Fashion Goods and Textiles Exports to France fetched 193 million Euros & approximately 176 billion euros from Germany between January to October 2021. During the same year China imported about 166 million Euros worth of Italian Fashion and textile products. 

Read more on the economic growth, Data and history of Italy’s economy on: https://www.focus-economics.com/countries/italy

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners:

Buying:

The Government of Italy allows foreigners with high net worth individuals to buy Land/Property/House registered with them in Italy, which provides numerous investment opportunities. Property can be purchased for commercial and residential use. The property needs to be registered with “The Italian Land Registry”. A Italian property Lawyer will verify if the property is free of legal disputes, verify the documents, draft the contract and represent the deal in front of the notary. They also offer free case evaluation.  Citizens of EU or the EEA, Stateless Citizens or Refugees can buy a property following the same procedures applicable to an Italian citizen. These categories are applicable to buy a property only if these have lived in Italy or at least three years.

The Documents to buy a property in Italy are:

  1. Sale purchase agreement
  2. Title Deed
  3. Floor plan of the house/property
  4. Cadastral Documents
  5. Building Permit
  6. Energy certificate
  7. Identification documents of seller and buyer

The Following steps must be followed before buying a property in Italy:

  1. Get the property inspected and make sure that the property is not mortgage or have any other claim.
  2. Get the property evaluated to make sure the price is correct.
  3. Check if the property is registered with the Land Register.
  4. Make sure all permits, and documents are in place.
  5. In case of buying a commercial real estate make sure that all commercial activities are permitted in the property.
  6. If everything is clear the property lawyer can draft a contract. A deposit must be made before the purchase.

To find out the complete procedure to buy property in Italy, the transaction costs, please log on to https://theitalianlawyer.com/how-to-buy-a-property-in-italy-guide/

Climate:

Different areas in Italy experiences different climate during the following four seasons which are:
Spring – March, April, May
Summer – June, July, August
Autumn – September, October, November
Winter – December, January, February

Mostly Italy has Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters. However, from north to south Italy there is a variety of sub-and-micro-climates where seasonal weather can differ greatly from national norms. It’s very sad that Global climate change is now affecting Italy’s weather, with more extreme weather events and overall warm temperatures all year around. From December to January, the mountainous region of Italy gets snow including Rome, Milan and Florence. Very rarely it snows in Venice with temperatures during the day from 6 – 8 degrees.  Venice with snowfall is very beautiful. In Florence there can be snow-accumulating winter once in few years.  

See the average temperature, precipitation and hours of sunshine of the city you would like to travel to on: https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine-in-Italy

Languages:

Italian is the official language of Italy which is spoken by 93% of the population who are native speakers. Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that originated from the vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire.   Other minority languages like French, Spanish, German, Greek, Sardinian, Albanian, Croatian, Slovene, Ladin, Catalan etc. are also spoken. English is also spoken and understood by large number of people. The endangered languages spoken in Italy are:

  1. Griko (Calabria & Salento) –
  2. Gradiol – A dialect of the Occitan language which is spoken in the town of Guardia Piemontese in the Clabria region.
  3. Vastese – Spoken only by the inhabitants of Vasto who are above the age of 80. Younger ones only have auditory command of Vastese language.  
  4. Toitschu – Also known as Walser German, it is a dialect of Alemmanic and is spoken throughout the Piedmont and Aosta Valley of Italy.
  5. Molise Croatian – Spoken by less than 1000 native Italian Croats speaking population of the Campobasso province of Italy. It is a dialect of Serbo-Croation.

Traffic:

Driving in a city in Italy can be challenging and if you are new in Italy it could be fearful because the Italian drivers are fast, aggressive and also skillful. It’s very normal to see the cars tailgating at 130 km/h. Lane hopping and late braking are the norm here.

If you have a driving license of any EU member state than you do not need an international driving permit for Italy, if not than you must get an international permit to drive here. While driving the Driver’s permit, Proof of Liability Insurance and ID must be carried. Traffic rules in Italy are pretty much the same as the rest of Europe, just a few important ones which one must know is listed below:
1.  Minimum age to get drive is 18 years.
2.  While driving keep to the right and overtake to the left
3.  On the two-lane motorways the Dipped Headlight must be used
4.  Horns must be used only for an emergency in towns & villages to avoid road-rage.
5.  Trams and Trains have the legal right of way.
6.  For motorcycles and mopeds drivers, Helmets are compulsory.
7.  Speed Limits
      a. Urban areas: 50km/h (31 mph)
     b. Out of built-up areas – 90km/h (56mph) OR 110km/h (68 mph)
     c. Motorways – 130km/h (81mph)

A good to read information on Driving and Traffic in Italy is available on: https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/europe/italy/driving-in-italy

Currency:

The official currency of Italy is the Euro.  Each Euro is divided into 100 Cents. The currency code is EUR and the symbol is €.

The currency is available in the following denominations:
Bank Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500.
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50.

Prior to the Euro the Italian Lira was the official currency till 2002. Italy was the first European union Country to adopt the Euro on 1st January 1999, however the banknotes and coins were introduced in Italy only on 1st January 2002. The fixed conversion rate is €1 = 1 936.27 ITL.

Payment Transaction:

Italy has a rapidly growing mobile e-commerce market. It is estimated to be €18.8 billion market. The rate of penetration of smartphones is 68.5% despite of having a less sophisticated internet system as compared to the other European nations. The Italians have also adopted to the e-commerce trend using the smartphones.  The following methods of payments are used in Italy:

Visa – most preferred credit card with 56.2% share (Carta si & Postepay)
Prepaid Card – Card with monetary value stored in it without maintaining a bank account.
Mastercard – preferred method in Italy
Prepaid Voucher – Electronic stored value voucher, redeemed through SMS and transferred instantly in a user’s account for immediate use.
Maestro
Bancomat – Domestic Italian mobile payment method
American Express
Paypal / Apple Pay / Google Pay
Neosurf – Pre-pay voucher payment method
My Bank

Cost of living: 

The cost of Living is high in Italy especially in the major cities. For some Italy is not an expensive place to live in, e.g. a couple living in Italy says, “Our cost of living in Italy per month is 1500 euros (U$1820). So really it all depends where and how you choose to live. Cities like Rome, Milan, Bologna, Firenze and other tourist cities are comparative more expensive. Smaller towns in the south of Italy are less expensive to live in. Some basic expenses are listed here which are on an average value:

Average house rent – 570-600 euros/month
Internet cost – 37 euros/month
Router plus installation – 50 euros plus 25 euros (on-time payment)
Mobile plan – 25 euros/month (3GB plus calls)
Food – 450 euros/month (cooked at home)
Utilities –  70 euros/month (Water, Gas & Electricity)
Public transport card – 50 euros/month
Bike cost – 80 euros
Other expenses – 240 euros/month

Find out the updated cost of products and services in Italy to help you calculate the cost of living on https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/italy

Apartment Rent:

In Italy there are three types of contracts for renting a house/apartment/villa. These are categorized on the period/ length of the contract. The 1st type is the transitory contract (contratto transitorio) for rental from one month up to 18 months. This contract is non-renewable and the periods depends on the reason for the tenancy.  The second type is the 3 + 2 contract, which is valid for first 3 years than renewed automatically for 2 more years.  The third contract is the 4 + 4 contract, which is made for 4 years and then automatically renewed of 4 more years.

The following documents are required by the Landlord for the rental contracts. He then submits the documents and register the signed contract with the Revenue Agency within 30 days.

  • Identity documents
  • Tax code
  • Map of the building
  • Copy of the deed of purchase /Land registry
  • Energy certification of the building (ACE)
  • Two copies of the rental agreement with original signatures
  • Completed model 69 for registrations
  • Receipt of payment of the registration tax.
  • Registration Fees of 32 EUR (35 USD)
  • Two stamps of 16 EUR (17 USD)

The following documents are required by the Tenants for the rental contracts:

  • Identity documents of all the cohabitants
  • Social Security Number of all the cohabitants
  • Salary Slip (last two months) OR last CUD (certificazione unica dipendente)
  • If self-employed than last modello unico and Chamber of commerce inspection certificate.

Please note that the Registration fees and the stamp charges may have to be shared equally depending on the contract, however legally the landlord has to pay these charges. To know the legal rights of the Landlord and the tenants please visit: https://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Europe/Italy/Landlord-and-Tenant

The minimum average house in Italy is approximately 300 – 800 euros/month, which varies by regions.  Long-term rentals (2-4 years or more) are usually not furnished, however, short-term rentals contracts may be furnished. Some expats may have problem finding a house or make a contract etc. especially if there is a language barrier, in this case appointing a real estate agent is worthwhile as they are very reliable. Usually, expats do not have problems because the Italians are quite friendly and open-minded to expats.  

To find vacant rentals in Italy, visit: https://rentola.com/for-rent/italy ;   or https://housinganywhere.com/s/Milan–Italy; https://www.nestpick.com/italy/

Health Insurance: 

Italy’s average life expectancy is 79.2 years for men and 84.9 years for women. One reason for this could be the standard of living and quality of life in Italy which is very impressive. Secondly, Italy has successful welfare and well established health policies of its people. The World Health Organization ranks Italy among the top 10 countries for quality health services.

The Servizio Sanirario Nazionale (SSN) is Italy’s national health care services which provides free or low-cost medical services to the residents including US and Canadian citizens who are legal residents of Italy. The services include visits to the General Practitioner at Public hospitals, ambulance services, Lab services and some specialized care as well. Under the SSN, medicines prescribed by the GP are provided free or at a subsidized rate. However, the services and the standard of treatment of the SSN throughout Italy is not as good as it should be and same, therefore many expats opt for being treated in private hospitals. Private hospitals and healthcare is very good in Italy and one of the finest in the world. Private healthcare is quick, comfortable and lots of choices for doctors and facilities therefore many foreigners/expats choose private over public healthcare even though it’s free. Private health can sometimes become very expensive, therefore the need for health insurance arises. Health insurance is also required for those conditions which are not included in the SSN. The local Italian insurance company provides supplementary coverage to cover this gap. For a family of four the premium would vary from €1,300 to €2,300 ($1,482 to $2,622) annually. To find out how does the Italy Health care systems works, please visit: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/italy

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can be used to access healthcare in Italy by all EU citizen and the UK citizen can avail medical healthcare by their Global Health Insurance Card.  To receive care under SSN, an expat needs to apply for an Italian health insurance card for himself/family by submitting the following documents to the Local Health Authority. The card is valid for a year and must be renewed every year.

  • Expats residence permit
  • Tax number
  • Official identification /proof of employment
  • Family status certificate (in case of family)

Medical emergency services number in Italy – 118
Medical emergency services number for EU nationals in Italy – 112 (English operator)
It is noteworthy that Pharmacies in Italy are also walk-in clinics for minor health problems, as the pharmacists have a certain level of medical training.

Some of the Italian Healthcare Insurers are:
Allianz / INA Assitalia / Filo Diretto / Europ Assistance
Find the List of hospitals in Rome, Florence, Milan and Naples, please visit: https://www.internationalinsurance.com/hospitals/italy/

Summary:

Italy, a country of Mediterranean coastlines and Alpine lakes, luxury fashion and industrial innovation is a dream for many to live and work. Lifestyles and Cultures are considerably different from North to South, East to West and the mountains to coast which make Italy very appealing. Many expats moving to Italy learn the Italian language as this make life much easier and more enjoyable. Italy offers free Italian classes for foreigners in most of the cities.

Food and Fashion are two most important aspects in the life of an Italian. The Italian cuisine is exquisite and is famous world over. For an Italian food is like a religion and eating food is like a ritual, where families get together to eat together for lunch and dinner. Italy is on the world’s leading economies. Its main exports are clothing, shoes, food and wine.

 

 

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